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Rodler, Daniela; Sasanami, Tomohiro; Sinowatz, Fred (2012): Assembly of the Inner Perivitelline Layer, a Homo log of the Mammalian Zona Pellucida: An Immunohistochemical and Ultrastructural Study. In: Cells Tissues Organs, No. 4: pp. 330-339


The avian inner perivitelline layer (IPVL), a homologous structure to the mammalian zona pellucida, is deposited between the granulosa cells and the oocyte cell membrane during folliculogenesis. The glycoprotein meshwork of the IPVL forms a 3-dimensional matrix and possesses important functions in the fertilization process: it contributes to the binding of avian spermatozoa to the oocyte and induces acrosomal exocytosis. In contrast to the zona pellucida of mammals, the IPVL does not prevent the physiological polyspermy found in birds. Previous studies have shown that in the Japanese quail (Cotumix japonica) at least 5 glycoproteins are constituents of the IPVL (ZP1, ZP2, ZP3, ZP4, and ZPD). In this study, we investigated the spatiotennporal assembly pattern of the IPVL during folliculogenesis using immunohistochemical and ultrastructural methods. The obtained results clearly show that these glycoproteins are incorporated into the IPVL at distinct points during follicular development, supporting the hypothesis that ZP2 and ZP4 form a type of prematrix into which ZP1, ZP3, and ZPD are integrated at a later stage of development. Copyright (C) 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel